The Little Things

November 30, 2016 at 3:31 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

be-happy-no-thankful-173059-530-353_large

Truth.

Change is hard. Growing up is harder. My life has changed a lot this year and promises to change even more in 2017 so I’m having a hard time just keeping up. Some of these changes are good and some I didn’t exactly see coming but I’m doing my best to stay positive through everything. And in order to do that, I’m going to focus on the good things I’ve got going for me. This is a little late for Thanksgiving but it’s never too late to give thanks!

  • I have a great family and I love them all (even the ones who drive me crazy. And vote for Trump…). My family isn’t perfect but we care about each other and do what it takes to ensure we’re all relatively taken care of.
  • I have a great husband and he does things like buy me flowers and chocolates and wine on days that I snap at him on the phone (this may or may not have happened just today). He’s my best friend, he has my back and I love him.
  • I have great friends as well and they supported me through quite a bit this year. Some of them also danced on a stripper pole at my bachelorette party so clearly they are all awesome people.
  • I have a very good job that I seem to do very well. Or so I’m told. I like the people I work with and the work I do and I am thankful for the opportunities, perks and benefits that I receive through my employment. Hell, just a few years ago I was laid off right around now so I’m thankful to be employed at all! But I’m even more thankful to be where I am.
  • I live in a great city full of interesting, new and exciting things to do. And I even go out and do some of them! Chicago allows me to flourish in my geeky ways and places like The Field Museum only contribute to that. I’m grateful to live in a place that allows me to do so many different things and love so many different kinds of people.
  • I’m healthy and most of my loved ones are fairly healthy as well. Yes, I lost my grandfather this year but it was one of those deaths that was bittersweet…I miss him every day but know he’s better off and I’m thankful for the all the time we shared. Most everyone else I truly care about are in decent health as well and I can only hope that continues to hold true.

I have many other things I can be thankful for but having my loved ones in my life, a decent job and a roof over my head are all that really matters so I’m going to end there. And no matter what the upcoming year brings, I have a few things that will always make me smile!

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Thinking of Thanks

November 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

This is a super short week as I fly out of town early Wednesday for another Deep Fried Southern Thanksgiving in Louisiana.  However before I go, I thought I’d take a minute and jump on the bandwagon of bloggers giving thanks.  I have quite a bit going for me and while I try to be thankful every day of the year, devoting a bit of internet space to pay tribute a little more never hurt anyone.  And yes, I know they’re all pretty standard but if you don’t feel like reading, I’m sure there’s another website out there somewhere that can occupy you until my next post.

  • Family: I have a super awesome family and while they don’t all live near each other, it’s nice knowing they’re around.  My mom, sister and myself get along especially well (when we spend less than or equal to 5 days together) and my dad is still kicking cancer’s ass so that’s great too.  All four of my grandparents are still as healthy and with-it as they’ve ever been and the aunts, uncles and cousins are holding their own as well.  I’m thankful for all of that much like I’m thankful that I’ll always be prettier than my sister.
  • Friends: I also have some pretty rad friends.  True, a handful of very close ones departed the Chicago area this year and that sucks pretty majorly but I’m still in contact with them all and hope to see each of them in the next few months.  I have friends who are inspiring, smart and supremely interesting and I’m lucky to have such phenomenal people in my life.  Quite a few of them are scattered all over the place but we’ve maintained relationships for years and I don’t think they’re going anywhere anytime soon.  So I’m thankful I have too many friends to make friendship bracelets for (because my fingers would tire and my hands would fall off).
  • Health: Having family members battle chemotherapy and kidney transplants makes me realize just how good I’ve got it in the health department.  I had a brief worry earlier this year that resulted in a few mammograms but everything is now hunky dory and as long as I’m free from hospitals, I’m happy.  Better than that, I’m healthy!
  • Employment: I’m extremely grateful to have a job, since I know many under and unemployed people who don’t.  My job allows me to eat and pay my bills and also lets me enjoy the view of Chicago along Lake Michigan each and every time I come into the office.  I’ve made some good friends here and the place treats me well so I’m thankful for a reason to get up and dressed every day.  Or rather, I’m thankful for a steady paycheck.  I’m also thankful for health insurance (though just how thankful I am about this will be determined after my dentist appointment this afternoon).
  • Hobbies: I’m lucky enough to be involved with more than one outside-of-work activity that I enjoy and I’m thankful to still be a part of so many things.  I’m still a staff writer for an entertainment magazine in Indiana, I regularly volunteer at the awesome food pantry, I’m still a part of a fun and entertaining book club, I’m learning more as a Docent at The Field Museum (and just turned in the draft for my very first public tour!) and I am thisclose to finishing my certificate in Museum Studies through Northwestern.  Not to mention all those cookies I bake from scratch and pass out to the people in Sears Tower…yeah just kidding about that.  But I’m thankful I’m able to stay involved in so many things I enjoy while not completely losing my mind.
  • Catsby: I’m thankful I had her for 8 years.  It wasn’t long enough but I’ll always be grateful that I got to know such a quirky, cool little cat.
  • Travel: I’m thankful I’m able to get out and about so much.  I wasn’t kidnapped and held for ransom in Guatemala so that was nice and I’ll be enjoying sunshine and warmth in New Orleans by the end of the week.  In fact, I’m so thankful for my upcoming sandal-wearing weather that I almost devoted this entire blog to it.  YOU should be thankful that I didn’t.
  • Boyfriend: This is the first year in the last few that I’ve had a significant other to be thankful for.  While this romance has progressed a little more quickly than what I’ve been used to in the past (and as cliché and trite as this sounds), it just feels right.  I’m having a lot of fun living with my boyfriend and things are going very well in that department.  I’m thankful he’s a part of my life.  I’m also forever thankful he was a part of Catsby’s life when she needed someone the most.

Obviously, I’ve got a lot that’s worth giving thanks over.  And while I may not be praying to God or Buddha or anyone in particular, I am grateful that the universe has aligned in such a way that I’ve been given what I’ve got.  Sure, things might not always be so rosy but I know that in the grand scheme of things, I’ve got it better than most.

Like the American Indians who got truly screwed in this whole Thanksgiving thing.  Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the origin of the holiday and you can bet your stuffing I’ll be re-posting the true history later this week.  Until then, be thankful you’re not a turkey!

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Giving Thanks – Day Five

November 26, 2010 at 4:10 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

It’s easy to be thankful for this final post topic today because of a phone call I had earlier this afternoon.  My cat is currently being cat-sat by a vet tech at the animal hospital I’ve been taking her to, and today the tech was nice enough to take Catsby back in for some more testing of her insulin levels.  Well, I spoke with our vet a few hours ago and she said that my diabetic kitty is doing much better and we can probably lower her insulin dosage.  Actually, she also said that she wants to monitor her blood

I'm thankful I'm not quite a Cat Lady...yet...

sugar tomorrow so we can make sure Catsby’s not in full-on remission (which would be great, but I’m not getting my hopes up too much…I’ll just be glad if we can get her regulated).  So, things are on the up and up for my little furry friend and I’m so, so happy to report that.  I can only hope she continues to get better and better!

It’s amazing how a pet can become a part of the family, especially when the family consists of yourself and some plants.  I remember how terrified I was when she was so sick and to this day I don’t know how people handle the worry of having children.  I’m thankful I have an animal companion who is so important to me that I can’t imagine life without her.

Since the is the last day in my Thanksgiving-themed week, I suppose I should round-up everything else I may have forgotten.  You’ll have to excuse me if some of these are repeats from what I wrote this time last year but if I’m still thankful for it then I figured it was worth mentioning again.  Here goes:

books, words and things like book club; cakes, pies, cookies and dessert food in general; Led Zeppelin; my green sweater that I’ve had for five years; wine; the internet and my cell phone plan; cheese; my slippers; the feeling I get when I stretch out like a starfish in my bed after a long day and of course, my great looks and sparkling personality.

Last year, I mentioned that I was thankful for the free living room couches and queen sized bed I have…upon further review, I realized that wasn’t all.  My TV, TV stand, bookcase, DVD case, DVD player, bedroom dresser and dining room set have all been handed down to me by various fantastic friends (and I promise, it doesn’t look like a mismatched hobo lair).  So, I’m thankful for the furnishings of my apartment as well.

Clearly, I have plenty to be thankful for.  I hope you’re able to count your blessings as well because no matter how bad you’ve got it, someone out there has it worse.  Now I’m going to continue my deep-fried Southern Thanksgiving over the weekend and try my best not to get permanently lost in a food coma.  See ya’ll Monday!

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Giving Thanks – Day Two

November 23, 2010 at 4:15 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Something that I try to give thanks for each and every day is my health.  I’m not going to get too much into the health care debate here because that will likely just embitter and enrage me but I will say that I’m thankful for not being a sickly person.  Especially since I currently don’t have health insurance.

As someone who has had her fair share of random maladies, I really appreciate not being ill or otherwise unhealthy.  Just for fun, here are some of the weird health issues I’ve dealt with in my time:

  • Brown recluse bite when I was in kindergarten.  Part of my finger shriveled up and peeled off.
  • Black Tongue (woke up midway through my freshman year of high school with a painful, swollen, black tongue and I could not eat or drink – every doctor in the ER came to poke and prod it and no one ever figured out what the hell was going on.  Luckily it went away on its own, after three days).
  • Weird undiagnosable rashes (on my face and under my arm, also during my freshman year of high school…not like strange and obvious skin diseases matter to kids that age anyway, right?).
  • Planters Wart on the sole of my foot (again, during freshman year.  This was not a good time for me).
  • Allergic reaction in the eye from walking into a pine tree.
  • The strange red-eye-but-not-pink-eye thing I was dealing with most recently.

Clearly, I don’t have the best luck in the health department.  As my mom likes to say, if something strange

We can pick and choose from this, right?

is going to happen chances are it’ll happen to me. Anyway, even with the oddities I put up with in my body, I’m still surprisingly healthy and fit.

Yes, even for someone who doesn’t eat meat.

To be honest, the human body really freaks me out and just thinking of all the things than can and do go wrong with no warning makes me want to hide under my bed with my blankie until the end of my days.  This is also why I could never work in a hospital – I would constantly be convincing myself that I had the newest, rarest disease out there.  People don’t realize how important their health is until it’s too late and I try not to make that mistake.  I’m lucky enough to have better than perfect vision (even after my red eye incident) and pretty great hearing too (so great that I wake up roughly 9 times every night).  I’m pretty strong and could probably kick your ass.  I also haven’t had any serious or scary health issues…well, ever (knocking on wood now).  A good friend of mine had gallbladder surgery earlier this year and another friend of mine had a ruptured appendix he had to have taken out.  Sometimes I consider having those things preemptively removed, just so I never have to worry about it.  Maybe when I’m insured again.

Just this year, one of my grandmothers fought (and beat) breast cancer and a cousin of mine had a second kidney transplant.  Everyone is in great shape now and I’m thankful for that as well.  When I read stories of people who have sudden and unexpected illnesses, my heart goes out to them.  Perhaps one day we’ll join the rest of the industrialized nations out there and provide a health insurance plan that doesn’t bankrupt our citizens but until then, I will give thanks every day that my family, friends and I are as healthy as we are!

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The Five Days of Thanksgiving

November 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I try to find something to be thankful for almost every day but this time of year always makes me think.  I understand how lucky I am just to have the opportunities and freedoms that I do and I figured I’d take this

Friendships should be celebrated, even if they don't make much sense

week to do a little countdown list of five things I’m always thankful for.  For instance, I’m thankful for my awesome friends!

I was able to spend my weekend with no fewer than seven old college classmates, all of whose company I sometimes I forget how much I enjoy.  I know some truly wonderful people here in the city and I’ve got others stationed all over the country who are near and dear to my heart.  It’s not always easy to maintain friendships over time and distance but somehow I’ve managed with more than a few old pals and I consider myself lucky that I’m still able to be a part of their lives.

My friends are also cool.  They do things like go to medical or graduate school, work horror movie conventions,  volunteer, sit on nonprofit committees, play beautiful music and read more interesting books than even I could hope to get through.  They’re also fun, smart, creative, fabulously good-looking and pretty much all of them are always there for me when I need them.

If you’re reading this blog then chances are I consider you a friend, so I’m thankful for you too.  I’ll take a little time today to send a hug in your general direction and maybe you could send a nice thought or two towards someone else who warms your heart.  And thank you for being a friend!

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